Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Importance of Being There

Having just returned from Pittsburgh and the wedding of a friend there, I'm reminded of the importance of being there for the event. The happy couple had their families there in full, and I was glad for them. It's important to have witnesses there for the event, seeing the couple make their vows publicly, giving them your support. Some people couldn't make it; I'm glad the wife and I were able to be there.
A friend of mine got married just as I was getting ready to finish my undergraduate degree. He and I had been friends since kindergarten, we'd shared a house, and during our college days we went fishing and hiking together. He started going out with a woman that seemed to want to get rid me and his other friends, and soon they were married. I didn't know anyone who went to the wedding. They hadn't told anyone, and my friend disappeared from our lives; that's the way they wanted it. I tried to stay in touch, but he didn't, and I didn't see him for almost twenty years, though I tried stopping by his house and calling him. Finally, last fall, I found him nearby, happily married to a different woman, his first child a toddler. Maybe it was just the way he was.
But, to come back to my point, I think being there is important. There aren't many events that we mark by making oral statements. Getting married is one of them, and having the right people there to hear you state them is a big deal.

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